Breast Cancer Statistics from Kolkata, Guwahati

Rising trends in young population


Breast Cancer is the most common cancer in India, including cities and rural areas. Both Kolkata and Guwahati, have been seeing rising numbers over the years and breast cancer is the most common cancer in these cities as well.
The statistics for Kolkata and Guwahati have been sourced from the Publication of PBCR 2012 - 2014 and HBCR 2007 - 2011

(PBCR = Population Based Cancer Registry and HBCR = Hospital Based Cancer Registry). Unfortunately, any published Indian data after this is not available (or atleast I am not aware). Globocan 2018 cites country wide breast cancer statistics for the year 2018, but does not give city wise breakup. So, for the time being, we stick to PBCR data, and also the personal experiences of many Oncologists treating Breast Cancer in these cities, who do agree with the rising trend in young and increasing numbers.


The charts below were published in the PBCR 2012 - 2014 and HBCR 2007 - 2011 data. They show, unequivocally, that breast cancer indeed is the most common cancer in Kolkata and accounts for almost one third of all cancers in women in Kolkata.

Breast Cancer in Kolkata

Distribution of different cancers in Kolkata

From this chart showing the percentage wise distribution of different cancers in Kolkata:

  • Breast Cancer is the most common cancer in women in Kolkata and accounted for 25.4% of all cancer cases in women in Kolkata. This almost amounts to one fourth of all cancers. This means, every fourth cancer detected in a woman in Kolkata will be a breast cancer.

  • The second most common cancer was cancer of the cervix, which was 10.1% of all cancers in women. You can judge the difference between the first (breast cancer), and the second (cervical cancer), telling us how much the numbers of breast cancer in Kolkata are increasing.

  • The numbers in the registry might be lower than the real incidence, because some breast cancer patients are managed at smaller hospitals and may not be reported at all.

Statistics of Breast Cancer in Guwahati

Age wise distribution of Breast Cancer in Guwahati

Age Wise Distribution of Breast Cancer in Guwahati

This chart is a little old, for present, but is the only one available, which is showing distribution of breast cancer in women in Guwahati according to their age group. We have marked out the percentage distribution for age group of 25 to 49, and it comes to about 68.8% of all breast cancer cases! Of course, this number of 68.8% is unusually high and there will be some element of yearly variation in it, but in most cities, the age group of 25 to 49 years tends to account for about 40% to 50% of all breast cancer cases. This tells us about the rising numbers in younger women.


The message is pretty clear. The numbers of breast cancer (for all age groups) in both Kolkata and Guwahati are rising. We are also seeing more and more numbers of breast cancer in the younger age group (Most cancers in the young tend to be aggressive). The reason is not that few decades back, it was not detected earlier and now it is being detected earlier. The reason is that there has been a very genuine rise in the incidence of breast cancer in younger women.
So the need of the hour is education of the masses - 'Breast Awareness', so that, if they 'know' what happens in breast cancer and what are the symptoms of breast cancer, they can definitely catch it early in case they develop it, they report earlier to appropriate doctors and have a higher chances of a cure or prolonged survival.